The Outside Prognosticator: The Road to Wetville

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, January 1996

The Outside Prognosticator: The Road to Wetville

"After my husband's lecture on the colon, our guests can't wait to get cleaned out," says Wendy Pope, the perky founder of the Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, a British Columbia wilderness lodge that's added a bracing element to high-altitude hiking: high colonics.

Backwoods retreats with New Agey trappings are common. So are ascetic spas where customers "take the nozzle." But near as we can tell, Pope's lodge at Ainsworth Hot Springs is the first to stake out the just-do-it enema frontier, combining rigorous exercise with vigorous intestinal spritzing. In her view, programs such as the 13-day Fit'n Fast--a $2,100 regimen combining hikes though the 8,000-foot beauty of the Selkirk Mountains with high, wet ones--are a natural blend. "The scenery cleanses your soul," she says. "The colonics cleanse your body."

But aren't colonics debilitating? "That's a myth--I hiked everyday," says Colleen Boveri, a satisfied swabee from Overland Park, Kansas. "The cleansing just pulls out stuff that may have been in there since you were five or six. The colon," she sighs, sharing an outdoor tip that the Boy Scout handbook neglected to mention, "is really the root of your health."

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